Washington Post publisher: 'Corrosive' to liken unfavorable news to 'fake news'

Washington Post publisher: 'Corrosive' to liken unfavorable news to 'fake news'
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The publisher of The Washington Post is speaking out against claims about "fake new" from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE and others, saying that comparing unflattering news to fake news is "corrosive" to the country.

Fred Ryan wrote in a Post op-ed published Friday that journalists are the targets of “calculated attacks” that are “conducted by people who would prefer to wield power free from accountability and out of the public eye.”

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“That truth might not always be what a leader wants to hear. But there is an enormous difference between ‘unfavorable news’ and ‘fake news.’ It is wrong to conflate them. Doing so is an attack on the truth — and it is corrosive to our democracy,” he wrote.

Ryan noted that there have always been tensions between members of the media and politicians but that hostilities have skyrocketed under Trump, who has dubbed mainstream outlets as the “enemy” of the people, a phrase Ryan says “crosses a line.”

“When the president uses these words, it is dangerous and reckless. He should stop labeling his fellow citizens as ‘enemies’ immediately — before it leads to physical harm to innocent Americans,” he wrote.

“He, and leaders across the globe, must understand that journalists are not ‘enemies of the people.’ They are servants of the people — and of the democratic principles that empower the people,” Ryan added.

Trump has had a notoriously acrimonious relationship with the press since he launched his campaign, lambasting a bevy of mainstream media outlets that publish unflattering stories about him as peddlers of “fake news.”

The Washington Post has been a favorite target of the White House, with Trump dubbing it the “Amazon Washington Post” after it was purchased by Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: Trump adviser presses House to make Bezos testify | GOP senator offers bill to restrict US sales to Huawei | Facebook to let campaigns use paid influencers On The Money: Trump adviser presses House to make Bezos testify | Kudlow says tax-cut proposal coming this fall | NY Fed says Boeing woes could hurt GDP | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline Trump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify MORE, whom he regularly criticizes.